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Nickel Plated vs Pure Nickel Roundwounds re: Fret Wear

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mconover, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. mconover


    Feb 6, 2006
    I know this subject is worked to death, but I have some specific questions. Maybe someone from a string manufacturer and / or with a lot of experience can answer:

    How do Nickel Plated Steel roundwounds compare to Pure Nickel wound strings for fret wear? Should I have a concern for fret wear with NPS strings? I see string discriptions for NPS strings that claim they are easy on frets, but I have trouble thinking that a very thin nickel plated "strike" on steel wrapping is any easier on frets than the base material. Could it be that even though the wrapping wire is steel, it is softer than a stainless steel wrap?

    Maybe someone can comment about how NPS strings perform re: fretwear. I'm new to bass playing.........


    Mike: help:
  2. Sinclair


    Nov 7, 2008
    Hmm, the same question came into my mind, after I took a look at the frets of my jazz - esp. the G-string ones - and got shocked. Quite a lot of fretwear. Maybe my slap-technique is too bad...

    At the moment I use Daddario XLs (EXL) which really last long and never seem to loose their brightness. Perhaps I should switch to 7150s...? Beeing less bright would be no problem.

    Any thoughts?
  3. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    well, fretwear happens. it's one of those things we'll never be able to wipe out

    unless we stop playing ;)
  4. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I love my Fender 7250ML's.. Best strings ever, Nickel Plated Steel wire. They sound great on every bass I have put them on, and they have become my #1 choice in strings. I'd try them before you did the 7150's.

    As far as Nickel wearing less than Steel, this is true. Mostly because the steel strings are a stiffer less forgiving metal than nickel which dents easier. Nickel strings have a tendency to be worn by the frets more so than Steel strings.

    I would think that a nickel plating on steel wire would wear your frets more than say a pure nickel string, however this would vary on how thick the coating is. Because once you've wore past the nickel, were back to steel then.

    My opinion, added to the above statement I think its the amount of polishing that is done to the wire before it gets wound into a string that makes the biggest difference. For instance, Rotosound Swing 66's are very coarse feeling and chew frets better than any string i've seen. Steel flatwounds? Not a chance in hell those will wear your frets at all like even the softest nickel round. Its all about the quality of wire, IMO.
  5. Sinclair


    Nov 7, 2008
    I agree with you in those points.

    I guess the 7250s are similar to the XLs soundwise?
    They seem to be factory default strings for basses without strings-thru-body option.

    The Am Dlx series defaults are the 8250s. Never gave them a try, since I bought my bass used, tho...

    The XLs look and sound like new after 4 month of nearly daily use! Stupidly I aquired them in a 2-pack. I'll give the second pack a try on my precision which I rarely use for slapping.

    You're right. But I bought my Jazz in mint conditon half a year ago and it was way too expansive for being worn out that fast. Shipping + taxes makes those babies $ = Euro over here :eek:

    Maybe it's really my technique, or I should stop slapping, which seems to be my #1 fretwear cause. ;)
  6. stflbn


    May 10, 2007

    Fretwear... yet another reason for 99% of players to stop the incessant slapping.



    Oct 10, 2008
    7250's are awesome strings! They are the most percussive roundwound on the market! As far as Stainless vs Nickel and sound, I went through it and drove myself, and many folks on this board crazy with it! {Sorry Folks} I wanted stainless sound, but feared for my frets lives!
    If you want the stainless sound, put them on and don't worry about it!

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